The Government of Wales is planning to set a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol in the region at £0.50 per unit from next year.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething is currently seeking views of businesses and individuals in Wales before implementing the plan.

The move will follow the Scottish Government, which has already implemented a £0.50 MUP.

In June, the Welsh Assembly passed a MUP bill to reduce alcohol-related deaths in the country. The government noted that more than 500 deaths were reported last year due to the consumption of alcohol and around 55,000 people were hospitalised due to alcohol-related issues. These incidents were said to cost nearly £159m.

“The ultimate objective of introducing a MUP is to tackle alcohol-related harm.”

Once the new MUP is implemented, it will be an offence to sell alcohol at cheaper prices.

Academics at the University of Sheffield estimated that a £0.50 MUP could reduce deaths caused due to the consumption of alcohol by 8.5% and could also lead to a 3.6% reduction in alcohol-attributable hospital admission on an annual basis.

Gething was quoted by media sources as saying: “The ultimate objective of introducing a MUP is to tackle alcohol-related harm, including alcohol-attributable hospital admissions and alcohol-related deaths in Wales, by reducing alcohol consumption in hazardous and harmful drinkers.

“The greater the proportion of purchased alcohol that is captured and the greater the estimated impact on alcohol-related harms.

“There is a trade-off as there is also a greater impact on moderate drinkers, particularly moderate drinkers in the more deprived groups.”